Isthmian North: Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane facing dilemma ahead of new campaign

PUBLISHED: 18:00 28 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 29 July 2017

Leyton Orient's Jake Caprice (left) controls under pressure from Hornchurch's new signing Jay Porter (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Leyton Orient's Jake Caprice (left) controls under pressure from Hornchurch's new signing Jay Porter (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Urchins manager is delighted with summer arrivals, but knows he must cut down his squad

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (left) and Colin McBride look on during their friendly with Leyton Orient (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (left) and Colin McBride look on during their friendly with Leyton Orient (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane is delighted with how his squad is shaping up ahead of the new Isthmian North season, but knows he has a big decision to make.

The Urchins have signed wingers Bradley Warner and Theo Fairweather-Johnson from Bowers & Pitsea and Phoenix Sports respectively this summer.

McFarlane has also brought in midfielder Sean Roberts (Cray Wanderers) and full-back Jay Porter (Thamesmead Town).

But after putting together a strong squad, Hornchurch’s manager now knows he has to trim it down a fraction.

“We have always got goals, but they have come from our forwards like George Purcell over the years and then we had Leon McKenzie last season,” said McFarlane.

“Bradley and Theo play in wide areas, but Theo got 25 goals last season and Bradley got 34, so that will give us more attacking impetus and will make us more of a threat.

“We know we have good defenders, we proved that against Leyton Orient, and the best goalkeeper in this league and the one above in Sam Mott, in my opinion, but we have too many players, so I will have to whittle it down and it will probably be the hardest time I have ever had to do it.

“Financially, we just can’t keep 21 players for a club with our funds unless they say they will pay for nothing!”

The Hornchurch boss will get another chance to assess his squad over the next few days when they play two more pre-season games.

Urchins will travel to Whitstable Town tomorrow before visiting Fetcham Grove on Monday to face Kingstonian, managed by ex-Billericay Town boss Craig Edwards. after holding Orient to a goalless draw on Tuesday having beaten VCD Athletic 4-1 last weekend.

McFarlane added: “Fair play to Craig because two years on the trot we have meant to play them at home and the pitch hasn’t been ready.

“Last year it happened when he was at Billericay and so we arranged to play it at Aveley and Kingstonian were meant to visit us on Thursday July 20, but I had to give him a call.

“To be fair to Craig most managers would have sulked and just said it is off, but he was happy to rearrange it, so we’ll go there on Monday and it will be a tough test.

“We’ll both want to get one over each other and Whitstable gave us a really tough game before, so these two fixtures are another top up for fitness.

“We are three unbeaten now, so we have a bit of momentum going and I know it is only pre-season, but it is good and then we have a juicy match with West Ham coming up on August 8.”

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